Where the experts holiday: Ian Wright, television host and comedian

By | Category: Travel tips & opinions

Television host and comedian, Ian Wright, stars in the brand new Travel Channel series of Tough Boats which sees him search for polar bears and find rich fishing grounds in the Arctic Circle. Fortunately for us, Ian took time out from his tough Arctic journey to share his travel highs and lows with Just About Travel readers

What do you like to do on holiday?
I’m always working and I’m rushing around 24/7 with no time to stop, so when I do get to have a holiday, I love doing nothing! Just chilling out and relaxing. That said, I’m not an overly ‘beach person’ – I can’t just lie on the beach all the time, I have to be doing something!
I think the best thing about being on holiday is being able to try the local cuisine: I love food and trying different foods of the country I’m in, whether it be a beautiful Ravioli in Italy or fish that’s fresh out of the sea in Norway. Finding these amazing foods and hidden restaurants and in the evening seeking out the local bars where they’ve got a bit of music flowing, is fantastic.

Where did you last go?
It was Havana, Cuba. My wife and I were lucky enough to spend two months there and it really is the ideal destination to visit. The seafront in Havana is the best I have been to.

Do you know where you’re going this year?
We’re planning on heading to Sri Lanka. I’ve been there before and it’s an excellent destination as it’s got everything. The food is fantastic – you won’t have a bad meal. In the south, you’ll find beautiful beaches and wildlife sanctuaries. It’s like being on the African Plains, elephants everywhere! Plus it hasn’t got the madness of India, it’s a bit more chilled.

Of all the places you’ve been to, which was your favourite and why?
I adore anything that is above the Arctic Circle. So, my trip to the Arctic on Tough Boats was so phenomenal. To be onboard a ship that could break through the ice and sail around the most northerly inhabited island in the world, 700 miles from The North Pole was just extraordinary. What’s so great about being so far above the Arctic circle is that it’s so beautiful and unusual. It is the most fantastic place in the world. 

Which destination do you wish to travel to, but haven’t yet been?
I’ve travelled to so many places, but I haven’t yet been able to visit anywhere in Central America so Belize, Honduras and Panama are all on the bucket list. I’d also love to go to Northern Siberia, that would be my idea of travel heaven. Another destination that’s on my must visit list is Northern Canada.

In your own country, what would you recommend tourists see that isn’t in the travel guides?
There are so many places in England that you can and should go and see. It is an absolutely extraordinary country. Every single county, you only have to go 50 miles in any direction and the beauty of the landscape changes. Birmingham, Manchester and Liverpool are not that far away from each other but yet all have different things to offer! England really is an amazing place to be. I have a special spot for Suffolk though as that’s where I was brought up – the coastline is incredible.

How do you plan your holiday?
I don’t do much planning. We’ll have a little look on the internet, but it’s mainly a case of get that ticket and go and explore when you’re there. That’s the whole point of travelling – not knowing too much and just getting out there. You’ll find it all yourself.

How often do you go away?
Sometimes I’ll get to go away twice and other times it might be 10 times. It all depends how much work is coming in. My wife and I always try to go to Norway at least once a year but, we’re big on weekend breaks too. A couple of hours on a plane and you could be in Venice or Barcelona… it doesn’t really get much better than that.

Who do you travel with?
My ideal travelling companion is my wife. We both love travelling so it’s the perfect combination!

Where do you see tourism in your country, in 10 years?
I think tourism in England will go from strength to strength. There’s so many places to visit and see. There’s so many variations it’s untrue! You can go down to St. Ives in Cornwall, you’ve got London which is the best city in the world, it’s got everything you want there. There is no destination you can go wrong with in England.

Tough Boats continues in The Arctic on Wednesday 15 February on Travel Channel, 9pm.

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